Sun, Mar 24, 2002 - Page 1 News List

Lu says her speech drew attention to Beijing's bullying

By Lin Chieh-yu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) said yesterday in Budapest, Hungary, that her speech at the opening ceremony of the 51st congress of Liberal International has successfully drawn attention to China's suppression and isolation of Taiwan.

"I believe that [after my speech] the world leaders at the congress will pay more attention to Taiwan's situation," Lu told reporters.

"They told me that they would think about how to improve relations with Taiwan after returning to their countries."

Lu stressed that the congress participants are some 600 high-profile liberal-democrats from 63 nations. Most of them are parliamentarians or leaders of political parties.

"The list of participants shows that representatives from 15 countries are top policy-making officials," Lu said.

The vice president said that the audience buzzed when she talked about how so many Western democratic countries had given in to China's bullying and restricted the freedom of Taiwan's leaders to travel abroad.

"My solemn condemnation met with huge applause from the audience, which brought me immense consolation. I hope this tearful protest can earn Taiwan some long-overdue justice from the international community," Lu said.

The congress had invited Lu to deliver a speech at its annual meeting in Ottawa last year, but the plan was thwarted due to the Canadian government's refusal to issue Lu a visa.

Lu said she didn't intend to lay blame, but hoped that the audience would give serious thought about international justice and ask themselves why countries which defend freedom and human rights would want to deal with an authoritarian Beijing regime.

"Are they simply hypnotized by their businesses' potential earnings in China, or are they hypocritical about the common values that we liberals stand for?" Lu asked.

Taiwan must be proactive, progressive and aggressive, and cannot be too conservative, if it wants to be a member of the international community, Lu said.

International fairness and justice lies in people's hearts, and Taiwan can "go all over the world with righteousness on its side," she said.

Taiwan must take the opportunity to make just appeals, winning recognition and support, so as to fight and break through China's international blockade and to raise the nation's international visibility, Lu said.

Lu denied that her address was meant to be provocative and raise cross-strait tension. She said she just wanted to focus on the issue at hand because Taiwan has long been treated in an insulting manner and lacks a sound international identity.

"I hope that the international community will do justice to Taiwan and fight for ROC leaders' freedom to travel abroad," Lu said.

The vice president hoped that other countries would be willing to follow Hungary's example of allowing Taiwanese officials to visit. "From now on, I will arrange for more foreign visits," Lu said.

"I hope the Beijing authorities can reconsider and accept the change [in the views] of the international community, which I refer to as `Taiwan's spring.'"

Lu and her delegation will arrive at CKS International Airport this morning.

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